Cyrano de Bergerac
How we cite our quotes:
CUIGY (Aside to Brissaille, looking at Christian)
A fine head, is it not? The profile…
FIRST MARQUIS (to the second)
He is not ill-looking; possibly a shade
Behind the fashion. (I.47-50)
From the very beginning, Christian is noted for his good looks. His attractive appearance even draws the attention of the marquis, whose vanity is itself laughable.
Truly, I should not look to find his portrait
By the grave hand of Philippe de Champagne.
He might have been a model for Callot –
One of those wild swashbucklers in a masque –
Hat with three plumes, and doublet with six points –
His cloak behind him over his long sword
Cocked, like the tail of strutting Chanticleer –
Prouder than all the swaggering Tamburlaines
Hatched out of Gascony. And to complete
This Punchinello figure – such a nose! –
My lords, there is no such nose as that nose –
You cannot look upon it without crying: "Oh, no,
Impossible! Exaggerated!" Then
You smile, and say: "Of course – I might have known;
Presently he will take it off." But that
Monsieur de Bergerac will never do.
He keeps it – and God help the man who smiles!
His sword is one half of the shears of Fate! (I.121-138)
Just as we immediately note Christian’s good looks, we are right away made conscious of Cyrano’s odd appearances. The contrast between these two characters is established early and will drive much of the action in the play.
SECOND MARQUIS (With excited little cries)
Oh! Oh! Sweet sirs, look yonder! Is she not
Bloom of the peach –
Blush of the strawberry –
So fresh – so cool,
That our hearts, grown all warm with loving her,
May catch their death of cold! (I. 40-45)
An interesting question is whether Roxane is valued only for her good looks, just as she values Christian.